Video: A Tradition of Embellishments

A TRADITION OF EMBELLISHMENT: EXPLORING THE AESTHETICS OF JEWISH ARTS was presented by artists Cynthia Beth Rubin and Chana Elias.

Now on view at YouTube

Is there an identifiable Jewish sensibility or aesthetic, a Jewish way of thinking, that finds its genesis in a theological tradition of embellishing texts, ritual objects, religious music, and poetry as prayer? When we look at traditional Jewish texts, we see layers of meaning, layers of commentary and embellishments both visual and textual. In the Marseilles Bible, for example, the Biblical text is interspersed with carpet pages, which in turn are pages of decorative motifs derived from local Spanish architecture surrounded by micrography, little writing that winds around with comments and references.

As creative thinkers, our cultural distinction may not always be content driven, but is often reflected in the structuring of our creative output. We come from a tradition of ever evolving interpretations, of finding layers of meaning and of approaching a place from a multitude of viewpoints all at once, in even the seemingly most simple text. This is a forum to begin a discussion of how cultural motifs and layered thinking come together in the work of many Jewish artists, focusing on ideas and conceptual journeys.


Leah Caroline

Chana Wiesenthal Elias

Bob Gluck

Beth Haber

JS Horseman

Judith Joseph

Leslie Klein

Cynthia Beth Rubin

Organized and hosted by the Jewish Art Salon; co-sponsored by Art Kibbutz and Jada Art.